For years, the Petun nation lived in this area, with their longhouses and tobacco fields where open meadows now lie, their hunting grounds within the forest, their fishing and water source in the Black Ash Creek. Think about them as you look at the Black Ash Creek valley below this trail.
This Conservation Area was named in their honour. An Iroquois speaking people noted for cultivating tobacco, the Petun were a smaller nation that lived along the slopes of the Niagara Escarpment. The influx of Europeans decimated this nation with an outbreak of smallpox in the 1600s. Thereafter they were dispersed by a war with the Seneca Nation and eventually settled in Oklahoma in the 1850s.
They are now known as the "Wyandot." Walk the Petun trail in early summer or fall (the children's summer camps start in July and August). It's a quiet trail and as you peer into the Black Ash Creek valley, you can imagine the world of the Petun. You'll also see the world of European settlers among the huge field stones cleared from fields. Along the corn fields you'll see clusters of milkweed, a great spot to see monarch butterflies. Four kilometres south of Petun, the Bruce Trail reaches its highest point at 540 metres (1480 feet).
With file information from the Bruce Trail, for more information on this and other Bruce trails please purchase the Bruce Trail map and trail guidebook. The Bruce Trail is the oldest and longest marked hiking trail in Canada. It is 840 km long, with over 440 km of side trails. Every year more than 400,000 visits are made to the Trail as people walk, snowshoe, watch wildlife, take photographs and admire the glorious scenery of the Escarpment. The Bruce Trail was instrumental in the Escarpment being named a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations in 1990 - one of only twelve such reserves in all of Canada. The Bruce Trail is a member of the Ontario Trails Council through affiliation with Hike Ontario.
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